Jennifer Bain


I have found inspiration and solace from the nature world since childhood. Growing up in New York City was counter balanced by spending the summer months at a rural island on the Atlantic coast. The location was only a couple of hours drive from the city, but a galaxy away in experience. It was here that I spent my days in the swamps, woods, beaches, and ocean. My summer life seemed very natural to me and I felt that I was 'in my element'. I spent hours and hours examining bugs, plants, shells, rocks, and everything in my path as I walked the Island and it's fascinating woods and beaches. This is where I formed my companionship with nature.

As an adult I have continued this journey by creating a garden and continuing my forays and hikes through the countryside. My garden gives me a vast and unending supply of visual material and inspiration. My evolved way of studying natural wonders (started in my childhood) has informed the conceptual content of my paintings. I employ a careful observation while working in my garden and a collective experience is pieced together in this sort of quiet work.

The paintings are worked as a visual story, which reads like a "film strip". I achieve this by creating separate, yet related visual information linked together horizontally or vertically.

In my experience, a place is digested in small parts or observations. I experience things broadly and then up close almost simultaneously. By focusing attention in the round, each moment is captured in the mind almost like photos taken in rapid succession. Each panel or section is a visual description of something different from the next. The way something "looks" contributes strongly to how it is perceived or "felt" by the viewer. I use this play with the way visual information creates a mood as catalyst for an emotional shift in the painting; also mirroring intellectual shifts that happen in close observation.

I find the territory somewhere between the familiar (descriptive) and the suggestive (abstract) intriguing, as it allows for broad interpretation. I correlate my mode of composition to that of a "visual poem" where one is lead through many passages or shifts in description and metaphor to culminate in a work that is open to interpretation by each individual on their own terms.

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